Feb 142013 15 Responses

Happy Valentine’s Day: You’re Not My Soul Mate

We long for the idea of a soul mate.

We think:

every Adam has an Eve.

every Romeo needs a Juliet.

every Pebbles gets her Bam Bam.

A good number of people believe there is one perfect person who was created for us and the great challenge of life is for us to find them.

The Greek Myth

The idea of the soul mate comes from Greek mythology. Legend has it that the Greek God, Zeus, looked down on four-armed and four-legged humanity with fear. He was afraid we could become too powerful and might overtake him. In an effort to weaken us, he cut us in half so that we would spend our days searching for our twin soul, our soul mate, our other half.

It is from Greek mythology that some believe there is only one person created exactly for you.

If the idea of a soul mate is true, then:

Marriage should be easy. If someone was created just for me, we should then fit together like a perfect glove. Every one of my weaknesses should be compensated by her strength, and each of my strengths should compensate for her weaknesses. (See: How to Stay Married in the Tough Times)

It’s possible to marry the wrong person. It wouldn’t just be possible, it would actually be likely. If there is just one person I can marry, the chances of me finding that person–especially on the first try–is slim. If I marry the wrong person, I’m either destined to failure or need to divorce.

If I’m single, my life is not complete. If I’m looking for my other half, then I’m just half a person until I find them.

All of these are lies. They are mistaken beliefs which interject stress into dating relationships, weaken marriages, and create discontent in anyone believing them.

The Christian Truth

In contrast to soul mate mythology, Christian theology gives a different view of marriage.

The Christian view of marriage is:

Every person is created in the image of God and in no need of being completed by another person. While men and women complement one another, we do not complete one another.

Being a single adult is a satisfying way to live and is often preferred.

Everyone is free to marry another person if they desire to do so. (See The Single Life and Valentine’s Day)

They can choose whomever they wish, although God gives guidance to what makes a wise choice. (See: Dating to Break-Up: A Unique Perspective)

We enter into marriage expecting difficulty because we are fallen people in a fallen world and God desires us to be transformed into his likeness.

Since there is not one person created for us, we cannot claim we married the wrong person. The choice is ours; whomever we choose becomes the right person. (See: You Aren’t the Perfect Couple)

The great challenge of relationships is not to find the one person created specifically for you. The great challenge is to pick someone and work at the relationship to such an extent that eventually it feels as though there could never be anyone else for you.

Choice Trumps Force

My wife is not my soul mate. She wasn’t created just for me. She does not complete me.

As romantic as it sounds to say she was “created for me,” it is far more truthful to say, “God gave her the choice to marry anyone in the world and she chose me.”

If soul mate mythology were true, love would not be a choice but an uncontrollable urge. Christian theology is much more beautiful. My wife wasn’t forced to love me; she has chosen to love me. She wasn’t created for me; she has given herself to me.

The idea of a soul mate might sound more appealing on a card; it might feel more romantic in a movie; but in truth it is but a mirage of something far better–a truly committed relationship based on the individual choice of love.

Which is better, a love of choice or a love of force?

I’m grateful my wife is not my soul mate. It reaffirms her true love for me. She was not forced to love me, but has freely chosen to do so. And that is the greatest Valentine’s gift I can ever receive.

 

15 Responses to Happy Valentine’s Day: You’re Not My Soul Mate
  1. Denny Neff Reply

    You are so correct when you point out that young adults have preconceived notions as to what a marriage is and that your marriage partner will fix what’s wrong with you. Another point you brought out which I applaud was the word “choice”. Our Heavenly Father has always given mankind a choice. We can choose to accept Him as Lord or reject Him. With both choices come consequences. When our choice is in agreement with His will the consequences are wonderful and if it’s the wrong choice we suffer. That, to me, even goes along with an offense as hideous as abortion. God has told us not to murder. When we choose to disobey Him and murder of another human being, we must suffer the consequences for that offense. When we seek God’s direction and guidance in selecting our lifetime partner and work at keeping our marriage in line with what God says we are to do and not do to maintain a healthy marriage, I believe we will find joy as well as make our live healthier and live longer.

    A lot of word, I know, just to say I enjoyed this blog and want to encourage you to keep up the good work.

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  3. Kristi Reply

    PREACH IT! 🙂 So much harm done by the Greek / Hollywood myth of the soul mate. Yes, complement and not complete. Marriages are ruined by unrealistic expectations — thanks for this accurate explanation of why we should lower them. Good stuff!

  4. Sara M Reply

    Yes, you were right, that is basically what I was trying to get across to the other commenter in the other post. Well said, Kevin! I’m going to bookmark this for later use to direct others to. Thank you.

  5. mere Reply

    I agree with this in many ways… I’m just confused in one particular area. Sometimes, you have one person who whenever you’re around each other, it’s absolute peace. Things just click. You could be married and love your spouse very much. But at the core of your being, you are always drawn back to them. I’m not just talking about physical attraction… just an overall feeling of peace. And you can try to get over it, move on, shift your focus… but still you feel like there’s a hole in your heart. What explains this? I’ve always wondered what draws two people together in such a way that even after years of separation, they still find their way back to each other. I know some people experience this, and it’s an unhealthy form of addiction. But what about people who aren’t in that type of situation? I just wonder… is it not possible that God has some hand in these situations?

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Meredith,
      It’s an interesting point you raise. I think normally that has less to do with the person and more to do with a memory of a good time or what could have been. The key is to remember that person is not perfect. It’s easy to idolize those we once loved. It’s an old statement–we often compare the inside of our marriage to the outside of others. It’s not a fair comparison. No doubt there are some people will get along with better than others, but we do not have soul mates.

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  7. Reese Yu Reply

    Amen!

  8. Linda Reply

    Although I do not believe in a soul mate, I chose love in my life. However, I am one of the people who found her love after 24 years separation and yes, I believe God had a hand in some of this. I feel I have so much respect to show him in my life and I feel loved by him as well. But, since he is 26 years my senior, I feel like our relationship suffers lack of communication because of this. I am not able to share enough time with my partner either partly because he has his own family to be involved with including a grandchild but believe it or not he tells me he wants to keep this relationship primarily professional and not let it slide into something even more social since he helps me with my thesis paper only for school as my Mentor. I am a very responsible adult who looks to life with optimism and positive thinking. We have a very egalitarian relationship and are compatible. My hope is that I become very patient with myself and learn to be a better listener to all.

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  10. Kevin Starr Reply

    Thank Heaven that im a MGTOW,you’re better off on your own.I’ll never have to worry about a woman cheating on me,divorcing me,or having to give her alimony.Most white American women are unmarriagiable.PS Im white fyi.

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  13. Lynn Reply

    I too believe who you choose becomes “the one” when you marry. Your description of soul mate vs choice makes sense even if it doesn’t sound as romantic on a card!

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